My Cultivation Experience and Some of My Understandings
(Clearwisdom.net) Greetings, esteemed Master! Greetings, fellow practitioners!
I started to practice Falun Gong in the summer of 2002 when I was in Taiwan. One day my younger brother brought back a Falun Dafa flyer when he took a walk in a park, and he left it on the table. I accidentally picked it up and looked at it. I was immediately attracted to the three characters "Zhen-Shan-Ren" (Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance) and decided to buy Zhuan Falun at a bookstore.
I tried two bookstores, but I could not find the book, so I didn't continue. It was probably a test of my determination to cultivate. A few days later, I went to climb a mountain with a friend. We set out at around five in the morning. When we passed a park, I saw Falun Gong practitioners practicing the exercises together and I went over. The responsible person at the practice site was very warmhearted. She told me they practiced the exercises at this location every day. She asked me if I would be interested in attending the nine-day seminar. My joy was beyond description.
A few days later, I continued my search for the book Zhuan Falun in several other bookstores. Finally, I bought a copy, and I read it through for a whole night. I then attended the nine-day seminar and exercise learning session. On my way home on the ninth day, I felt so light that I was almost hopping and jumping. My heart was filled with happiness. I knew this was the path I was going to take. Whenever I recall my experience of obtaining Dafa, I am very thankful. I thank Master for not giving up on any disciple.
In 2003, I decided to get married and emigrate to the US. It was a turning point for my career as well as for my cultivation. As I was a newcomer in the US, I had a language barrier. On top of that, my husband and I had very different family backgrounds, and I could not get along well with my in-laws. I could not find a suitable job at first, because I was a manager of a small company when I was in Taiwan, and I refused to take just any type of job. In addition, the rest of my family lives in Taiwan. I felt I had sacrificed my career and had had to leave my dear mother, and that I was left with no friends to communicate with because of this marriage. I felt unbalanced and was filled with human sentiments. I failed to realize this was precisely a good opportunity to get rid of all the attachments I had before.
Although every time I knew I didn't pass the test, I still felt it was heart-wrenching, and I forgot I should endure as a cultivator and put down human attachments. Gradually I realized I should spend more time studying the Fa and maintain a righteous mind, that I should keep a compassionate heart and a peaceful mentality. If I always considered others first whenever I encountered anything, I wouldn't get so irritated when conflict arose.
In Lecture Four of Zhuan Falun, Master said,
"Why do you encounter these problems? They are all caused by your own karma. We have already eliminated for you many, numerous pieces of it, leaving only that tiny bit which is divided into tribulations at different levels for upgrading your xinxing, tempering your mind, and removing your different attachments. These are all your own tribulations that we use to improve your xinxing, and you will be able to overcome them. As long as you upgrade your xinxing, you can overcome them. Unless you, yourself do not want to do so, you can make it, provided you want to overcome them. Therefore, from now on when you come across a conflict you should not consider it a coincidence. This is because when a conflict occurs, it will take place unexpectedly. But that is not a coincidence--it is for improving your xinxing. As long as you treat yourself as a practitioner, you can handle it properly."ï¿½
I often share my improved understandings with my husband. I shared with him how I looked at the reason for failing to pass each test. As time passed, the conflicts among family members were less acute, even though they were not completely resolved. My husband also started to cultivate Dafa and became my fellow practitioner.
In 2006, I started my first job in the US. On the first day, my colleague, who was also starting her first day, was assigned a desk at the main office, while I was assigned to work at a front desk at the main entrance. The desk was not made for computer keyboarding. The computer was placed very high, and I had to sit on a high chair and raise my arms to type. There was a high-speed printer behind my chair and a drinking water dispenser beside me. I had to endure the rumbling printer and the noise of the opening and closing of the door as well as being bothered by those who took a paper cup from the front desk when they wanted a drink of water. After a few days, my back was aching, and my hands and arms felt sore. I really felt unbalanced. My immediate supervisor was a fellow from my hometown in Taiwan. How come I could not have a desk in a good location?
I talked to my husband about this situation. He could not bear for me to suffer hardship and suggested I report the situation to the human resources department and demand my rights. However, I realized I was a cultivator! To cultivate one has to endure hardship. How could I not let go of human notions? When I realized this, I put down the unbalanced mentality. Then it seemed my arms and my back didn't feel the pain as much.
About one week later, I was handling some materials, based on how a colleague of mine had asked me to do it. My supervisor came to my desk to check my progress. He seemed to have a different opinion about how things should be done. I didn't notice this and continued to do things the way I was told to. He suddenly raised his voice and took me to the center of the main office. Then he told everyone how I had made a gross mistake in front of all my colleagues. He made some very embarrassing statements. That was the most serious humiliation I had ever endured since I had graduated from school. Tears almost welled up in my eyes, but I knew I must not cry, I must not be beaten by the old forces, I must pass this test. I held my tears and said, "Thank you. I will pay more attention!"
During the break in the afternoon, I called my husband to tell him what had happened. I could not hold my tears back this time. My husband said, "If you don't want to do it, just quit. You do not have to work," I thought to myself, "No, this is a test I have to pass and a tribulation I have to endure." I wiped my tears and continued my work. Although I endured it, I still felt I was wronged. In "What is Forbearance (Ren)?"(Essentials for Further Advancement), Master said,
"Forbearance is the key to improving one's xinxing. To endure with anger, grievance, or tears is the forbearance of an everyday person who is attached to his concerns. To endure completely without anger or grievance is the forbearance of a cultivator."
Then, for some unknown reason, a senior colleague was very unhappy with me and was unfriendly towards me. She often found fault with me at work and intentionally ignored me when we ran into each other. She also gossiped with other colleagues about me. I didn't know why and I didn't want to worry about it, either. However, one morning, I clearly heard that she reported to our manager how I wasted paper because I printed stuff that should not be printed. As a matter of fact, I was printing like that because another colleague asked me to. I really wanted to go over there and explains things. After that, she badmouthed me in front of another colleague. I felt very bad. I then realized, "I am a cultivator. Why do I care about ordinary people's bad behavior? I am above and beyond such conflicts." I felt calm and carefree. I no longer felt angry or sad.
One day, a colleague who was also picky about me said to me, "You are always smiling every time I see you." She said she had a short temper and that was why she did not pay much attention to her attitude. She wanted to apologize and said, "You are so fortunate." I replied, "That's right. It is because I am a cultivator." Before long, human resource staff members came to inspect safety at work. They changed my seat to a desk used by a previous manager who had left, because my original desk was too small and my original seat was not up to safety standards.
I later joked about it with my husband. Many of the things I didn't like to do before are exactly what I am experiencing now after I started to cultivate. I did not want to be a civil servant: now I work at a government agency; I did not want to marry a civil servant: my husband works at a government agency as well; I did not like short men: my husband is not tall at all. Aren't all these meant to eliminate my attachments?
During the 2008 New York Fa Conference when I saw our Master, my eyes were filled with tears. I knew that I had stumbled along during individual cultivation and in xinxing tests. I didn't really do the three things well. I could not help saying to Master in my heart: "I must be diligent from now on and become a genuine practitioner."
After we came back from the Fa Conference, my husband and I were devoted to truth-clarification projects, and we both joined the Divine Land Marching Band. We were also involved in the layout design for The Epoch Times and ticket promotion for Shen Yun Performing Arts.
When we beat the cymbals during the parade, I understood and experienced what Master referred to in the 2006 "Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angeles," "many, many heavenly soldiers and generals were charging forward."
Later, when I started working with The Epoch Times, I realized that numerous practitioners devote themselves to this amazingly wonderful project wholeheartedly.
When I put on the Empress costume to hand out flyers on the street and sell tickets for the Shen Yun show in the Market, I could feel the energy field of a Dafa disciple. Oblivious to the bitter cold weather, I could stand the whole day without water, without a restroom break, and without food, and I felt so reluctant to leave or take off my Empress costume.
The night of the Shen Yun performance, when the curtain slowly lifted, tears filled my eyes as touching songs and music and divine-like dances followed one after the other....I could not stop my tears. I truly felt how beautiful and great Dafa is. I understood that I will work hard to catch up on the road of my cultivation.